Lian Li's O11D Mini came out at the end of last year (our review here), and thanks to its incredibly modular internals, it's honestly one of the most fun cases 2020 had to offer. Now, EKWB already has a distribution plate ready for it, and call me weird, but I find it quite exciting.
Being a chassis with lots of glass to look into it, a distribution plate at the front of it is the perfect foundation for watercooled systems with hard acrylic tubing. The distribution plate has inlets and outlets in all the right places to line up with most hardware combinations, meaning you should be able to get away with just a single bend per stretch of tubing.
And that's key to a successful liquid build. I built a system in PCMR 'Special Edition' O11D, also with an EKWB Quantum-Reflection distribution plate, and it really made it a breeze to get my tubing runs to look good. Don't get me wrong, it was still a two-person all-day job as a first-timer to hardline tubing, but the end result looked proper without much waste, failed bends, or hair-pulling fear of leaks.
O11D Mini + EKWB Distro Plate = Magic
Having come to the conclusion that the O11D Mini and an EKWB distribution plate ought to be a magical combination, let's get into a few of the details.
The plate itself is made primarily out of acrylic, and a D5 PWM pump is used to generate flow. This is a massive-power 23-watt pump that can push through even the toughest, most complicated of loops, and chances are you'll never actually need to address its full power. I appreciate that this distro plate doesn't have a metal cover to hide the pump from the front of the case, allowing you to see it do its work in its fullest glory.
D-RGB is included in the form of a light strip on one side, which illuminates the entire distro plate and can react nicely with pastel fluids.
Pricing isn't cheap though at $350 for this unit. That said, a D5 pump-res combo unit will also easily cost you about $200, and in all fairness, I reckon the added $150 is worth the convenience in port placement for easier tubing runs if you're already going down the custom liquid route anyway -- and of course the looks. The catch is that it will only fit the O11D Mini, so you'll have to be sure about your decision before committing to the build.
EKWB is currently taking pre-orders with shipping slated for early March.
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Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.